I am a total creature of habit.  When I head up to ski, I pick the same runs all the time.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing because I happen to think they are some of the best runs out there.  But if you read my blog each week, I tell you to ski the O’Clocks, Sideburn, Tornado, Priest Creek Liftline on a powderday, Oops and Vertigo.  In that order, almost every day, regardless of conditions.  (Don’t ski Sideburn if is hasn’t been snowing, only amendment that really shows up.)

New Year’s resolution No. 1: I think I should start pushing outside my boundaries and ski some stuff that I never ski.

Nothing like a bluebird morning, crystal inversion to help speed me on my way to new, unexplored (for Ali G.) terrain.  Getting off the gondola today felt like showing up to the beach in March after a long cold winter.  New experience right off the bat: taking off my neck warmer!  Off to a great start.  I must admit I did a little research.  I spent a solid hour this weekend studying the trail map and set my mind to finding and skiing runs that I had never even heard of.  First run down to Sundown Lift I found Rowel.

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Do you know what a rowel is?  It’s the small wheel with radiating points at the end of a spur.  And it is the run right next to Spur.  It spurred me to find more unknown runs.  (Yes, adventuring around the mountain makes me feel a little punny).   Headed out to Sunshine area to find Children of Winter, the eastern most ski run in our terrain,  Officially it is called Baby Powder.  Go Figure.  Guess what I found there?  Baby Powder!  After a week of no significant new snow!

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I did wind up skiing some old favorites today, but it was all stuff that I hadn’t skied yet this winter: Westside, Arc to Norther to Blizzard, Buddy’s all the way down (I always duck out on Calf Roper), Drop Out, the Storm Peak North (not highly recommended because some rocks are starting to poke out, but I always ski Storm Peak South, so I had to switch it up). All of it is skiing great.  Fast, nice groomers with some well-spaced bumps here and there on the edges to keep me turning.  I was shooting to ski Fetcher Glade and Perry Park under Pony Express but Pony was not turning early this morning.

My last real goal of the day was to find Feather.  As can happen when you set out on a new adventure, I got myself a little lost on the hill.  I wound up skiing up Chisholm Trail, a snowshoe trail.

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I did discover that you can get yourself to the top of Heavenly Daze from Rainbow Saddle with minimal uphill effort.  I looked around for a sign to get me onto Feather, which is on the map between Rudy’s and Vagabond but I never did find Feather.  C’est la vie.  Good to keep some adventures ready for next time.

It was an all in all awesome morning: new views, new turns, new ways of getting around my old favorite Steamboat.  It’s really good training for my next major adventure:  Following my power wedging 3-year-old along every woop-de-do trail through the woods. Talk about getting lost!

Happy New Year, happy new adventure, happy Monday, skiers and riders!

Ali Givnish, Alpine skier

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